One important outcome of the 7th International e-VLBI Workshop in Shanghai in June 2008 was the creation of a task force to study and recommend a universal VLBI data format that is suitable for both on-the-wire e-VLBI data transfer, as well as direct disk storage. This task force, called the VLBI Data Interchange Format (VDIF) Task Force, is the first part of a two-part effort, the second of which will address standardization of e-VLBI data-transmission-protocols. The formation of the VDIF Task Force was prompted particularly by increased e-VLBI activity and the difficulties encountered when data arrive at a correlator in different formats from various instruments in various parts of the world. The task force created a streaming packetized data format that may be used for real-time and non-realtime e-VLBI, as well as direct disk storage. The data may contain multiple channels of time-sampled data with an arbitrary number of channels, arbitrary #bits/sample up to 32, and real or complex data; data rates in excess of 100 Gbps are supported. Each data packet is completely self-identifying via a short header, and data may be decoded without reference to any external information. The VDIF task force has completed its work, and the VDIF standard was ratified at the 2009 e-VLBI workshop in Madrid.